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Great Car Deals Require A Little Research

Aug 17, 2007
Great car deals can be found in a number of locations. From online auctions to classified ads in local papers, where there are cars for sale, there are great car deals to be had. But, before you jump in and bite on a "great car deal," it's important you know what you're getting into.

Depending on where you're hunting down your great car deal, you may or may not be able to inspect the vehicle you'd like to buy in advance. With this in mind, there are things you can do to help ensure great car deals are really that when you go to bid or buy.

Anyone looking for great car deals should first:

* Set a budget. It's very important to be realistic about how much you can spend. If you intend to buy a car at auction, for example, it's likely you'll need cash at the ready. This means having an honest budget in mind before you start looking.

* Determine vehicle type desired. You might be able to find a great car deal, but if you want a SUV or a truck, that deal might not work for your needs. Before you start looking at deals, it's vital to decide what kind of auto you require.

* Pick makes and models. Once you have figured out vehicle type, it's a good idea to research makes and models to find the most reliable, best performing vehicles in your price and style range. If you have some ideas in advance of what vehicles are good and which ones aren't, you'll be better able to determine a great car deal when you see one.

* Understand pricing. It's also important to know what the cars you're interested in generally sell for. If you don't, you might think you have a great car deal based on the price when in reality you're being taken to the cleaners.

Now that you have a budget and a few makes and models in mind, finding great car deals will be in order. Whether you go to a local auction, look online or browse the classified ads, it's important to be ready with questions about the vehicles you're going to consider buying. If possible, you'll want to know the following things about the autos to really help you determine if your great car deal is really all it's cracked up to be:

* Whether you are looking at an online auction or buying in person, ask about mileage. This will help you determine if the price is right or way out of line.

* See if service records are available, too. A 10-year-old car with 60,000 miles on it that has been well cared for could be a real steal, but a 2-year-old car with 150,000 miles and no records of service is not likely worth the price.

* If possible, ask to inspect the vehicle. While this won't always be possible, it's a good way to help determine if a great car deal is really that.

Buying a car can be a very costly and risky undertaking, especially if that car is used. However, with a little research and the willingness to ask some questions and shop around, great car deals can be had.
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